Tuesday, May 10, 2005

More Runaway Bride Shyte...
I really didn't want to delve any further into this stuff than I had to last week, but it just keeps getting weirder.

We're talking Dennis Rodman weird. The Outer Limits weird. Hillary Clinton taking a Conservative position weird.

Thanks to the Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, I now know that I can have my virginity restored by God. I kid you not...

It seems that Jennifer and her fiance (we'll call him Doofus from now on) are possessed of the belief that not only can God forgive sins (which is an underpinnning of my own Catholic faith), he can now totally erase our pasts, if we only ask him to and make the proper devotions, no matter how egregious.

Apparently, the branch of Christianity Jennifer and Doofus are aligned with advances as an article of faith that someone can completely and permanently erase sin due to the healing power of prayer. Now granted, God's a pretty powerful guy, but where I come from the sin always exists, you merely just owned up to it. God may forgive, but it is never forgotten.

So, the Runaway Bride and Doofus were engaged (no pun intended) on a quest to restore themselves to a totally pristine state, in all areas of their lives, and one of the bedrock foundations of this agenda is a process called "re-virgination". In re-virgination, as far as I can follow it, the Almighty returns you to that pristine state when you pray enough for it. (I'm still waiting to find out how much this costs, btw. Where there's a church involved, the...ahem...contibution, is not far behind). Extending this line of thought a little further, I wonder, if I prayed enough, would God not only restore my virginity, but also perform the following laundry list of things I'd like to have a do-over on:

- Could God erase my credit card debt?
- Could God perhaps see his way clear to stopping me from buying that Chevy Chevette in 1987 and allow me to go back for the Camaro Z28?
- Will God correct all those punchcards that showed me as being late for work all those times?
- Can I have another chance at deciding whether to go straight to work or to college after leaving High School?
- Can I have September 11, 2001 back, without the crashing airliners and the 3,000 deaths? Or the subsequent mental trauma and years of medication and professional help?
- Can he give me back all the money I spent in topless bars in my youth?
- May I please have the opportunity to remake every decision I've ever had to make?
- Can I ask for a better physique?
- Might I ask for a world in which my hockey team always wins the Stanley Cup?
- Is it possible for God to eliminate the Designated Hitter rule?
- I have a few ex-girlfriends I can't believe I dated. Could I have some hotter girls?

And I'm not being facetious...

The idea that God is all-powerful, that he can defy time, space and all the physical laws that we know of, is  not a new idea. What is a new idea, as far as I can see, is that if we can merely wish something hadn't happened, and then have some minster tell us God said it didn't after enough hours are spent in prayer and repentance, then, well, it hasn't happened.

Chalk up one more point for the pussy-fication of religion. This is not a religious doctrine as I understand the meaning, but seems more like an attempt to make an individual feel better about him or herself. One more way in which pap psychology, in which how you feel trumps how you behave, or maybe even excuses it, has invaded every nook and cranny of our daily lives. Now religions are concerned with the psychological and not the spiritual well-being of the flock. And yes, I do believe the spiritual and the psychological can be separated.

We've now gone from Separation of Church and State to Separation of Church from Reality.

It's also been revealed that Jennifer has a minor criminal record and may have had a psychotic episode at one point in time. Yep, Doofus was getting a quality filly here, wasn't he? Then again, God would have erased the past, so it wouldn't matter much to him that Jenny was a few fries short of a Happy Meal and had a rap sheet, would it? After all, we're erasing the past here.

Now I'm not the most religious person on the block, for sure. But, I have seen enough people who walk into churches simply because they have no place else to go, and they walk out as fanatics. Usually it's because finally someone has listened to them. More often, the regimentation involved in the following of a specific faith appeals to people who lack any discipline at all. In either case, it's a crutch.

I'm going to go out on a limb here: Jennifer and Doofus probably had very sad lives in one way or another. He's just too high on life to have been born that way and she's too nuts to have been normal before she signed on to this thing. Judging from my own imperfect experience, I'd say they both gravitated towards this nonsense because it provided something they never had before in one way or another, probably psychologically. Perhaps it was the lack of judgment (on behalf of the church) towards them. Maybe it was the idea of perfection that appealed to them. Perhaps, like most Born-Again folks, they were tremendous fuck-ups in their previous lives and are wracked by guilt that cannot be assuaged. I don't know. I really don't care. It all seems too fucking weird to be real to me. I still can't figure out why Doofus can't seem to take a whiz on his own without his pastor by his side.

I smell cult...

So, the more I hear, the more I understand why she ran off. If I was marrying a man who was apparently surgically attached to his pastor, who told me I could become a virgin again by simply praying, and who somehow convinced me that everything I ever did could be magically erased from the Great Celestial Ledger of Bad Deeds, and who obvioulsy believed that to the point where he became a non-sexual, always-smiling-but-on-the-verge-of-drooling idiot, then I'd run like hell too.

I just wonder if God will erase the whole episode for the rest us so that it never happened. Oh, and can I do that without wearing out my knees?

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